Intended for healthcare professionals


Should doctors get CME points for reading?

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 12 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:394

Yes: relaxing documentation doesn't imply relaxing accountability

  1. Hans Asbjørn Holm, deputy secretary general (
  1. Norwegian Medical Association, PO Box 1152 Sentrum, N-0107 Oslo, Norway

    See also p 432

    “To study the phenomenon of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go sea at all.” William Osler1

    Practising medicine without reading is unthinkable, and reading is extensively used in searching for information to solve clinical problems.2 3 Moreover, lack of time for reading is often perceived as a threat to professional practice and has a negative impact on perceived level of coping.4 Yet most programmes of continuing medical education give little credit for reading: what evidence do we have that it is an effective way of learning?

    Scanning journals for articles of interest is probably what first comes to mind when thinking of doctors' reading. Reading is also often used for re-examining one's clinical practice (How should I manage patients with osteoporosis?) or finding information to solve more focused problems (What is the best treatment for tick bites?). As computers become part of doctors' office equipment, access to databases should enable doctors quickly to find the most updated and reliable answers to their clinical problems. In essence this is no different from reading journals, books, or self produced notes.

    The …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription